Saturday, February 5, 2011
A recent Chinatown trip yielded more than the usual dried fish or tub of slippery eels. I found these two little guys in the back of a seemingly normal market. There was a worker standing nearby smoking a cigarette next to these armor plated morsels.
I've never had armadillo, I'm not opposed to trying it. I don't think that $15.99 a pound is a good price, but in reality I have no basis for comparison. Also, I don't know when or where the Chinese grew their love for the little critter.
To follow the stimulating picture I thought maybe someone that came across these culinary treasures and bought them needed a way to cook them, so I've included a recipe.
After scouring around I've found some recipes and some advice.
First - "Treat armadillo like turtle"
I think this is to help describe how to clean the armadillo if it's bought with full armor plating. In terms of a meat, turtle is usually used to make soups.
Second - Most of the recipes I found call for already cleaned armadillo meat. The people that are giving out recipes for armadillo are not very creative. Many of them just have a bottle of BBQ sauce as the ingredient for flavor followed by canned vegetables.
Third - The following recipe is not really my own. The recipe I found that was most promising still used canned mushrooms, so I had to make some adjustments both with ingredients and with flavors.
ARMADILLO AND RICE
1 armadillo, dressed and cleaned (believe that most are about 4 pounds)
4 large Spanish yellow onions
1 stalk celery
1 pound fresh white button or crimini mushrooms (or mixture!)
2 cups rice, uncooked
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Butter for sauteing
10 cups armadillo broth (we'll make this)
Boil armadillo until tender; reserve broth. Remove meat from bones. Cut onions, mushrooms and celery and cook in butter until tender. Add meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Put in a large baking pan or dutch oven and add 10 cups of hot broth; add rice, salt and pepper, cumin; stir. Place in 375 degrees F. oven and cook until tender. (I don't know how the stock to rice ratio is going to turn out)
I know that I found a bunch of southern recipes, but what I could not find were any Chinese recipes, which I think would have been fitting since that's where I found the creatures.
Maybe I'll go for it next time I see an armadillo, and I'll ask for a recipe.